A program is underway to put the iconic self-portrait image of John Lennon on California license plates, and help fund the state’s food banks. The special license plate is now available for pre-order and will feature the Lennon self-portrait image and the slogan, “IMAGINE no hunger”.
Proceeds from sales will be administered by the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) and distributed to the California Association of Food Banks (CAFB) to be utilized throughout the state of California for hunger-relief programs, including support of Feeding San Diego.
The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will begin issuing the ‘Imagine No Hunger’ license plates upon receipt of 7,500 pre-paid applications.

In order to complete the required 7,500 pre-registration requirement for the application to create the “Imagine No Hunger” license plate, you can now sign up for free. Once the 7,500 number is reached and the funds are in place to submit to the DMV, the DMV will commence creating the programming to make the plate available.

Once the 7,500 is reached, this offer will end. You can sign up all your vehicles. The issuance of the ‘Imagine No Hunger’ special plate is subject to the completion of the 7,500 pre-registration and submission of the requisite funds to the DMV pursuant to  applicable California law.

NOTE: After your first registration period (up to one year), there will be an annual renewal fee with your annual registration renewal, of an additional $40 to keep the ‘Imagine No Hunger’ plate on your vehicle and support hunger relief in California. However, you may cancel at any time. We sincerely appreciate your support and for stepping up to the plate to help end hunger in California!

CDSS is eligible to sponsor a specialized license plate program to promote its work with respect to supporting food banks and helping to end hunger in California. The creation of a new California specialized license plate to address the need for further hunger relief in California will have many benefits for five million food insecure Californians, food banks, and the state itself. Specifically, funds raised will be expended to support increased awareness of hunger issues in the state and will directly address major hunger issues in California.

CDSS intends to work with the California Association of Food Banks (CAFB), a membership organization representing over 40 food banks throughout the state that collectively provide food to 6,000 community-based organizations and to two million Californians in need. The license plate funds will goto help address the existing shortfall in funding for hunger relief in California.

The creation of a new California ‘Imagine No Hunger’ special Interest license plate to address the need for hunger relief in California will have many benefits to hungry Californians, food banks, and the state itself, including:

  1. Increased awareness of hunger issues in the state.
  2. A meaningful recurring revenue source of funds to address hunger in California.
  3. No cost to the state of California to create or market the plate; all costs are covered by revenue generated from purchasers of the special interest plate.

 The California Association of Food Banks (CAFB) is a membership organization representing 41 food banks fromthroughout the state with a shared mission to build a well-nourished California, and a firm commitment to providing cutting-edge leadership in the anti-hunger community.  Major programs include Farm to Family, which works with growers and packers to provide fresh produce to food banks; statewide programs for SNAP outreach and enrollment; robust state and federal advocacy efforts; produce and nutrition education; and, member services that provide technical assistance and engage members in special projects to reduce the prevalence and consequences of food insecurity in California.

Every day in California, nearly 1 in 8 households face food insecurity, defined as the occasional or constant lack of access to the food one needs for a healthy, active life. For the 6.5 million Californians struggling with food insecurity, hard choices must be made between buying food and meeting such basic needs as housing, medicine, transportation, or childcare. Food insecurity disproportionately affects children and seniors, and tragically, 1 out of every 4 California kids may go to bed hungry each night. While the impact of hunger is not always obvious, its effects are present in nearly all of our communities and classrooms on a daily basis.
Despite strong support, food banks cannot yet offer a proportional response to the vast need for food among Californians. ​According to the national food bank organization Feeding America, Californians are lacking over 1 billion meals annually, and at an average retail cost of $2.80 per meal, it would take over $3 billion to create food security in our state. Fortunately, food banks are able to take advantage of donated foods and economies of scale to cut those costs dramatically.
Over the past year, CAFB has worked with its members and partners to:

  • Distribute 140 million pounds of fresh produce to those in need;
  • Secure over $7.25 million in funding for our member food banks;
  • Reach over 180,000 people through nutrition education programs focused on promoting consumption of fresh produce;
  • Provide CalFresh (food stamp) information and application assistance to over 100,000 households; and,
  • Successfully advocate for major changes in CalFresh operations that have boosted participation by 13 percentage points.

Food banks play a critical role in California’s food safety net, reaching over two million people in need annually, including children, seniors, the working poor, disabled, homeless and veterans. 

©Yoko Ono Lennon

​The proposed specialized license plate includes the iconic John Lennon self-portrait image, authorized by Yoko Ono Lennon, which provides a powerful symbol of his humanitarian legacy, raising awareness to the need to address hunger in our state and providing an image that will promote significant funding to help end hunger in California.
A special note of gratitude goes to Yoko Ono Lennon who has kindly authorized the use of the John Lennon self-portrait image to help the California Association of Food Banks (CAFB) in their ongoing fight to end hunger in California. “Imagine is a great word to spread around and I was happy to do this because it is helping a very important charity.”